29th January 2024

In his recent judgment in the case of AerCap Ireland Ltd v AIG Europe SA & Ors [2024] EWHC 144 (Comm), Mr. Justice Butcher has clarified the meaning and effect of Regulations 28, 29, and 29A of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, in the context of an application for disclosure of documents by various non-party Reinsurance Brokers under CPR 31.17.

Mr. Justice Butcher ordered that relevant reinsurance documents should be disclosed by the Reinsurance Brokers to AerCap for use in the context of AerCap’s aviation insurance litigation in the High Court of England and Wales. In doing so, the Court confirmed that the disclosure of documents by a Reinsurance Broker to a non-Russian Lessor such as AerCap, pursuant to a Court Order for non-party disclosure, would not amount to a breach of Regulations 28, 29, or 29A.

In his judgment, Mr. Justice Butcher cited, with approval, the judgment of Christopher Hancock KC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, in Celestial Aviation Services Ltd v UniCredit Bank AG (London Branch) [2023] EWHC 663 (although that judgment is the subject of a pending appeal to the Court of Appeal scheduled for hearing in May 2024).

Mr. Justice Butcher’s judgment should provide welcome clarification to the London insurance and reinsurance market, and to reinsurance brokers, in particular, when being asked to produce copies of documents that are held on their files.

Alex Potts KC acted for the First Respondent Reinsurance Brokers, instructed by Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

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